Embroidered Book Covers

While researching book bindings for a project, I’ve been coming across these gorgeous embroidered book covers and bindings from the 16th and 17th century. Thought I’d make a blog post out of these exquisite works of art.. The original scans for the books are scattered throughout The British Library Database of Bookbindings. I’ve just selected, cropped, and optimized them. The larger size originals are in a flickr set so that all the amazing details can be seen and are worth clicking through and taking a good look at.

17th century embroidered satin book with floral motif.

Embroidered satin book with floral motif. The Whole Booke of Psalmes (London, 1639)

16th century embroidered velvet book with scroll and floral pattern.

Embroidered velvet book with scroll and floral pattern. Orationis Dominic: explicatio (Geneva, 1583)

17th century embroidered satin book with pictorial angel and trees.

17th century embroidered satin book with pictorial angel and trees. The Whole Booke of Davids Psalmes (London, 1634)

17th century embroidered Canvas book, pictorial angel and floral motif  with two red ribbons.

Embroidered Canvas book, pictorial angel and floral motif with two red ribbons. The Booke of Common Prayer (London, 1611)

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Hidden Treasure

Now this was a lot of fun to discover. I purchased an old leather sewing kit. It was in excellent shape and apparently had nothing inside it except a rusty threaded needle and brown paper padding at the bottom. However, there was something quite interesting and well hidden wrapped in that plain brown paper.

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